Owl's final picture.
BORN: approx 1993
DIED: 16 March 2006
Weighing in like a sumo wrestler at 18 pounds when he arrived, Owl was the biggest cat I've ever had. His first owner named him Owl because as a kitten he had white rings around his big round eyes, giving him an owl-like look. He was an "apple-headed" Siamese.
He and a companion -- a tough old calico dominatrix named Tigerlily -- came into my care on 24 July 1997 a short time before their previous owner, novelist Jo Clayton, sucuumbed to cancer. He was badly stressed when I got him and was a tough cat to win over. It took me a good two years to win his trust.
Owl was a weird cat, but then he was a Siamese so that may be redundant. He loved to eat plastic bags. He also loved to eat grass and once had a six-inch piece of grass stuck up his nose that the vet had to remove.
He didn't seem to understand playing at first. Over the years, he picked up a little bit of how to play with a string or a feather toy, but if you rolled a ball to him, he looked at it like it was an alien.
He had some kind of allergy which made him pull the fur off his back, so most of the time he had a bare batch in his otherwise luxurious brown fur.
What Owl didn't have was the typical Siamese voice. He hardly made a sound at first, but slowly over the years he became more and more talkative.
On 28 Nov. 2003, Owl and several of my other cats were chased by stray dogs that came onto my property. Unfortunately, while trying to escape from the dogs, Owl was severely injured. He completely destroyed his right hind knee.
In order for Owl to walk again, he required major reconstructive surgery of the knee. It was put back together with metal pins and metal wire. Unfortunately, instead of healing properly, the wire broke and the bones moved out of position.
Owl had a second, vastly more expensive operation on 16 Aug. 2004 which at least gave him some use of the leg.
But he never seemed to fully recover his health after those operations. During 2005 and into 2006, he slowly, inexorably lost weight. We did endless tests and tried many treatments and rememdies. Nothing worked and he continued to waste away. Finally he stopped eating. He was put to sleep on 16 March 2006.
He was beautiful, loving cat and I will miss him deeply.